In rotation: 2/4/19

Howell, NJ | Iconic Record Store Closing In Howell Soon: Two businesses are winding up their final days in Howell, with The Record Store closing this weekend, and Sears at Howell Plaza shuttering in just over two weeks. The Record Store, which has been a fixture in the community for 30 years, will have its final two days of business Saturday and Sunday, according to the store’s Facebook page. The shop announced its plans to close in mid-December, as the owner, Jeff Laga, decided it was time to pursue the next chapter in his life: “He has been involved with the music business now for over 45 years. The Record Store did start out as a record store in Howell, 30 years ago. He has seen many ups as well as many downs but he has stuck with it all this time. However, in the last few years he has found his enthusiasm waning and more importantly, his heart has just not been in the business anymore.”

Surrey, UK | Record store offers band poster for Twitter followers who promote appeal for sleeping bags: Banquet Records in Kingston are supporting an appeal from Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH). The Kingston-based homelessness charity put out an appeal for extra sleeping bags earlier today (February 1) in light of the severe winter weather conditions hitting the area this week. In a show of solidarity with the work KCAH do, staff at Banquet Records took to the Kingston shop’s Twitter account to help raise awareness and support for the appeal, which was promoted by KCAH on the site, offering a poster featuring The 1975, a band popular at the record store. KCAH’s initial appeal posted to Twitter said: “If you have a good condition WARM sleeping bag in good condition still in its sleeve to donate, please pop into our office today. Thank you so much!” …Speaking to the Surrey Comet on Friday, John Tolley from Banquet said: “We know the people who run the shelter and it’s a really good and important thing they do. Obviously you just need to look outside — the weather’s horrible — and anything we can do to help them, we should.

Phoenix, AZ | ‘Revolver Records was bigger than its records’: Closing store sees its last First Friday: Among the art, food trucks and local dives, Revolver Records was always a hub for First Fridays in downtown Phoenix. Friday, Feb. 1, seemed like any other First Friday. There was a steady flow of people, some hauling out records in stacks, walking in and out of the small record store’s doors with music and art surrounding the red building outside. Families, college kids and avid record collectors browsed through a variety of music from Captain and Tennille and Jose Feliciano, to Anne Murray and Paul Young. But on closer inspection, a white sign was taped on the front door stating “Goodbye Roosevelt Row! Store Closing Sale! 50 percent off everything! Everything Must Go!” People who hadn’t heard the news were surprised. They asked employees if it was true.

Sioux Falls, SD | Vinyl Taco serves up Mexican and classic rock in the old Bucks location: Sioux Falls diners love their tacos, and it showed this week when Vinyl Taco opened in the old Borrowed Bucks spot near the Western Mall. Vinyl Taco opened its restaurant space Thursday, and its first day in business at 3609 S. Western Ave. was a success, co-owner Kirk Keupp said. Keupp is part of a team of investors who also owned the Bucks and J.L. Beers brands. Vinyl Taco is the most recent of the group’s restaurants to make its way from the Fargo market to Sioux Falls. It mixes a wide variety of Mexican dishes with classic rock, all played on Vinyl Taco’s selection of about 1,000 vinyl records. “We spin albums every day,” Keupp said.

Houghton, MI | Vinyl Music Blast from Past: After a year of vacancy, a former bookstore is housing another medium — this one a format left for dead but experiencing a revival. After two years in a room in the Lode Theater, The Vinyl Truth has moved across the street to the former Book World location. The move triples the square footage for the record store, said Chuck Bailey, who co-owns the shop along with Darryl Nicholas of the Nicholas Insurance Agency, also in the Lode. Bailey owns U.P. Financial, another business in the former theater that needs additional office space. An auditorium in the Lode hosts live entertainment. “Between all those things, we were in a space crunch, which sounds strange with a building that’s 20,000 square feet, but that’s where we were,” Bailey said. Moving also helps the shop’s visibility, Bailey said. Many people hadn’t known where to find the shop, which was tucked away down a hallway and indicated by a sign on the pavement outside.

Toronto, CA | Attention music lovers: N.S. radio station selling its entire vinyl collection: Mix 94.1 and Zed 97.9 are going digital and need to offload thousands of records. It’s a good day for music lovers. Radio stations in New Glasgow, N.S., are selling off an impressive vinyl collection that dates back to the 1960s. It took decades for Mix 94.1 and its sister station, Zed 97.9, to amass the 96 boxes of LPs and CDs — but it likely won’t take long to offload them. People were lined up outside Highland Square Mall at 5:30 a.m. on Friday morning and program director Scott George estimated 350 people had come through the doors by noon. The radio stations were recently sold to Newcap Radio and will now be completely digital. That means about 6,500 LPs and CDs need a new home. “It’s quite the setup that we’ve got there and just an unbelievable collection of some really cool music memorabilia,” George told CBC’s Information Morning.

Toronto, CA | P.E.I. company developing a new approach to selling vinyl records: A P.E.I. company that helps musicians pre-sell their albums and solve the problem of upfront financing for vinyl record pressing has received a $55,000 loan from the federal government. RecordFund received the money through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to help it develop and launch an online sales website. Demand for vinyl records has seen a revival in recent years and independent artists are looking to capitalize on the trend without assuming the financial risk associated with high production costs, the agency said in a news release. “RecordFund has developed an online sales method that allows artists to market and pre-sell their record before production. This setup takes much of the financial risk away from the artists. By selling records in advance, artists will have a more secure revenue stream, creating a positive economic impact for the music industry.” Gideon Banahene of RecordFund said the company is thankful for the support.

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